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08th Jun 2017

Two of the greatest action films of the decade will be on TV tomorrow

Paul Moore

Clear your schedule and get these done. They’re superb.

Given the influx of superhero films, sequels and PG-13 friendly fare, it’s rare that an action film has enough punch and power to make an impact on audiences.

We’ve seen countless orbs of mystical power, aerial dogfights with gigantic spaceships and sequences that are brimming with rapid-cuts and shaky cam shots, but in 2011, Welsh director Gareth Evans changed all that and he did it for just $1.1 million.

$1.1m! That’s what the catering would cost on some Hollywood blockbusters.

No word of a lie, The Raid is the greatest action film of the decade because it somehow managed to redefine what the action genre was capable of. Not since The Matrix introduced us to bullet-time has a film’s style been so revolutionary, but trust us when we say that The Raid isn’t just a great action film, it’s a great film.

Paul Greengrass’ work on the Bourne films ushered in a new aesthetic in Hollywood as quick edits, shaky cam and a kinetic visual style became the norm. What Gareth Edwards did in The Raid was extremely brave, he filmed his fight sequences with long lenses, thus making the action feel far more cinematic and grand.

Then again, the film moves at such a breakneck speed that you’ll barely have time to draw breath.

Ok, what’s it about?

In simple terms, The Raid revolves around a S.W.A.T. team that becomes trapped in a tenement building that’s run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

Absolute chaos ensues.

If you’re thinking about watching it, here’s our elevator pitch. Watching The Raid is like being revved up on Red Bull and then having that needle of adrenaline from Pulp Fiction injected straight into your heart.

Imagine combining the Sega Megadrive classic Streets of Rage, elements of Die Hard and the breathtaking choreography that defined the fight sequences in The Matrix.  That’s The Raid.

If you’re one of those people that absolutely hate subtitled films – yep, there are people like that – don’t worry because the director adheres to the Clint Eastwood principle. You know, if something can be said in 10 words then you only need 5.

Dialogue is kept to a minimum but there’s enough of a story to keep you gripped and the whole universe is expanded in the sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal, which borrows from gangester epics like The Godfather and Infernal Affairs.

With news that the original is being remade, now is the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with the Indonesian masterpieces.

Film 4, Friday at 22:45. Enjoy.